10 Food Trends to Watch For in 2014

Nov 12 2013

Planning a party? Eating out? Or doing some grocery shopping? You will be surprised at the newest and latest food trends that will find its way to your much-loved restaurant dishes, your grocery shelves and even your party buffet chafers. The communications company Sterling-Rice Group has released a list of the top food trends that will tease our taste buds for the year 2014. This list is based on the input and opinion of more than 100 experts in the food industry.

Restaurateurs, restaurant supply providers, food consultants, product developers, respected chefs, grocery store shoppers and passionate foodies had their say on what would be the latest innovations in flavor. They listed some favorites that are getting their second wind, as well as innovative and exciting food newcomers. What marks the entries to the list is a growing demand for healthier eating combined with familiar tastes, as well as pure and fresh goodness.

Based on the SRG list, here are the Top Ten Food Trends for 2014:

Lemon. The fresh, unadulterated flavor of lemon brings back familiar memories that our taste buds know so well – lemon meringue pie, lemon bars and even lemonade. Lemon is slated to give its bright flavor and vibrancy to pastries, dressings, sauces, as well as yogurts and other dairy food. As Kazia Jankowski, SRG Associate Culinary Director, explains, “Lemon is pure. Lemon is versatile. Lemon is nostalgic. For those reasons, it – and no other citrus – will be the flavor of next year.”

Tea as food flavoring. No longer are teas to be considered only as drinks. 2014 will see food bearing the earthy and natural tastes of green tea, black tea and other kinds of tea leaves. This healthful twist will replace fat-laden oils, bacon or butter.

Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Cuisine. Hailing from Israel, Turkey and the rest of the Mediterranean countries, Americans will get their fair share of the exotic, savory yet healthy flavors of popular Middle Eastern spices such as sumac, Aleppo peppers, za’atar and more.

Milk from nuts. Rather than going to the cows with milk pails, restaurateurs are poised to try milk from nuts such as peanuts, almonds and cashews to flavor ice creams, sauces, drinks and entrees. Primarily for dairy-intolerant customers, milk from nuts provides a healthy yet flavorful twist to classic favorites.

Egg yolk. These golden globes will find their way to various dishes and may replace cheese, dairy and sauces. The creaminess of the egg yolk makes it an up-and-coming ingredient to dishes such as ramen and burgers.

Refined classic American favorite. Rich, familiar American classics that are unabashedly full-fat foods such as meaty steak tartare and salads in creamy bleu cheese dressing will be gaining more popularity. These upscale classics will overshadow burgers, hotdogs and milkshakes.

Poaching and steaming. Instead of water, wine, beer, coffee and other smoky liquids will be the liquid of choice for poaching and steaming, in order to flavor healthily cooked meats, fish and vegetables.

Seaweed as a snack. “Umami”, which is that pleasant savory taste, brought about by seaweed will season not just sushi and other Japanese fare. It will also be a salty, flavorful snack or seasoning. Seaweed is not just packed with flavor but with amazing texture and health benefits.

Pasta with a twist. Pasta made from alternative flours, spiced up with interesting flavors and formed into various shapes will be the order of the day. “Ordinary” pasta such as spaghetti, angel hair and penne may very well take the backseat.

Exotic proteins. Food lovers will turn to small-scale producers for their protein, rather than make use of industrially produced meat. Meat from goats, rabbit or pigeon will be the protein sources of choice.